MANILA - President Duterte on Tuesday said that while he is no fan of martial law, authoritarian rule may be the key to containing widespread violence especially in Mindanao.
"I'm not a fan of martial law, abogado ako e. Natatakot iyung mga tao sa Martial Law," he said at a dinner with reporters in Malacañang.
"But if ever, martial law is a contingency really [against] widespread violence. Mindanao is already in the state of rebellion."
Duterte's statement comes days after his warning that he may suspend the writ of habeas corpus, if needed, to combat lawlessness in Mindanao and boost his anti-narcotics drive.
The absence of the writ would allow police to detain suspects without warrant and hold them for three days without charge.
According to the Constitution, the president may lift the writ for periods of up to 60 days "in case of invasion or rebellion, when the public safety requires it." The same clause allows for Martial Law to be invoked, but Duterte earlier said he would not do that.
The Philippines has been under a state of lawless violence since September 5, following a deadly bombing in Davao City that left 15 dead and scores wounded.
-- With a report from Dexter Ganibe, DZMM